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but outside of making legally actionable threats

Time:2019-08-29 03:23Shoes websites Click:

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 but outside of making legally actionable threats

The past couple of weeks have been quite a trying time for a couple of game developers. Interestingly, both studios exist on opposite ends of the economic power-structure that makes up the video game industry. On one side is Apex Legends developer Respawn, backed by the financial juggernaut that is EA, and on the other is the husband/wife team of Ben Wasser and Rebecca Cordingley, whose indie studio Glumberland is working on the impending launch of its first game, Ooblets. Both Respawn and Glumberland are in the middle of some seriously bad press as the two studios have made decisions of late which served to stoke the ire of their respective fans. While both devs come from different corners of the video game industry, both are equally emblematic of the ways in which some game studios are exacerbating negative fan/developer interactions.

Respawn recently launched its Iron Crown Collection event in its battle royale game Apex Legends about a week ago, in which fans could purchase 24 different weapons. These weapons could only be obtained via loot boxes which sold for $7 a pop. Granted, it was possible to procure two of these via in-game currency, but anything beyond that cap required real-world money to buy. What really proved to be the proverbial back-breaking straw in this instance was an axe called Raven’s Bite, which could only be purchased once all other weapons in the collection had been bought. All told, in order to get the privilege to own Raven’s Bite, fans were being asked to fork over $170 in total. Yikes.

Fan reaction was swift and furious. Many were outraged by how monetization of the weapons was being handled, and with so much negativity being cultivated, Respawn apologized and opted to switch up the selling format. The studio made it so that fans could instead pay for each weapon individually, with the option of using the game’s currency, as well. It could have ended there, but things took a turn when that same apology was posted on the Apex Legends subreddit page. Fans mercilessly skewered what they perceived to be a disingenuous excuse for the mishap and called out the studio for a litany of different perceived slights against them. At some point in the middle of this chaos, the devs from Respawn who were fielding replies on the thread became incensed and started lashing out at fans, calling them “ass-hats,” a “mob,” and “toxic.” Many of these responses have been deleted by Respawn, but users have screenshots of the posts and are up in arms against the dev, as a result.

 but outside of making legally actionable threats

Glumberland, meanwhile, had a more convoluted path to controversy. Ben and Rebecca’s game Ooblets, which is described as a mix of Pokémon, Animal Crossing, and Harvest Moon, was seeking money through crowdfunding platform Patreon in order to be brought to market. Throughout the time that Ooblets has been in development (since 2016), Ben and Rebecca have been telling backers that the game would be appearing on PC and Xbox One. Everything was looking fine until Ben made a post on July 31 on the Ooblets website entitled “We did the thing,” in which he explained to fans that Ooblets would be coming to PC… but as an exclusive to the Epic Games Store. The post sparked a maelstrom of outrage, with countless fans taking to social media to vilify Glumberland, citing a number of reasons including a dearth of features in the Epic Games Store and an inability to make purchases in certain locales.

In the case of the Ooblets controversy, the issue has been obfuscated by so-called fans who have been making death threats and personal insults to Ben and Rebecca. It’s unacceptable (and something that will be discussed further in a moment), but it’s ultimately overshadowing the larger problems with Glumberland’s announcement. Fans were told one thing, only to have the rug pulled out beneath them with the jump to Epic. Worse still was Ben’s handling of the post itself, which featured a tone that many have characterized as insulting, mocking, and rude. Ben has returned to the Ooblets webpage to discuss the incident and the impact it’s had on his wife and himself, but it ultimately betrays a tone-deafness that lies at the heart of his, and also Respawn’s, dilemma.

Two devs, two angry packs of fans, one commonality: this is not how to do business. The reason it matters so much is that this is something that doesn’t just impact Respawn and Glumberland, it stretches to the rest of the development community. A big part of the problem is something that both studios have accused fans of being: entitled. Merriam-Webster defines entitlement as the “belief that one is deserving of or entitled to certain privileges,” and associates it with being spoiled. Entitlement has become a buzzword recently for game studios that want to write off fan complaints as little more than the braying of the pampered and coddled, but it’s an oversimplification and in some cases outright inaccurate. In the cases of Respawn and Glumberland, it’s an instance of both.

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